Cottage-in-the clouds

Welcome to our magical cottage which overlooks Lamorna Cove in mystical,wonderful West Penwith,Cornwall.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Living The Dream.


When we bought The Magazine it was basically derelict and needed a lot of imagination, a lot
of effort, skill and time to restore it.

Work began immediately in late November 2008 and by May 2009 was completed. My builder from Mousehole and I shook hands. Our Cottage-in-theClouds(so called by Monica Baldwin, niece of Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin in her autobiogr

aphy,I Leapt Over The Wall which she wrote whilst living at The Magazine) had been restored and was breathtaking and beautiful and I loved every inch of it with a passion.

For me it had been an immensely rewarding period although at times it had been difficult to
concentrate upon the work in hand because of the stunning ocean views everywhere you looked!
Almost impossible to believe - my Comish Dream was now a reality! Could it really be true?

Any time spent here in Lamoma Cove is amazing but those first few months, April to July, that
Elaine and I spent here last year were truly perfect. We would sit in the garden, entranced by the
ocean and its ever-changing moods, colours and sounds; one day awe-struck by the power and
fury of a raging storm battering the cove, the next lulled by the utter peace and tranquility of the
azure sea gently caressing the shore and murmuring upon the rocks.

One of our daily rituals was to wave to the Scillonian as she glided past between Penzance and the
Scilly Isles. Often we had a friendly wave in return.

The warm days were filled with birdsong. Our resident population of Robins, Wrens,
Tits, Chaffinches, Greenfinches, Goldfinches and Blackbirds all cavorted in the garden, soon to be
joined by Warblers and other migrants. Evenings often found a Herring Gull or two perched
expectantly upon our roof and as night fell the distant Lizard Lighthouse beamed its message into
the darkness, and the disembodied coloured lights of fishing boats floated mysteriously out in the blackness and above all the stars twinkled and moonlight cast it’s warm glow.

Windows wide open, we were lulled to sleep by the gentle, timeless breaking of the waves in the

We watched the sun rising from our bedroom window upon waking, laying a-bed, we
were mesmerised by the view - the Atlantic Ocean laid out before us, the timeless bulk of Cam Dhu as ever on our left with the Lizard Peninsula in the distance and the vast expanse of sea,it’s moods ever-changing,sometimes calm,sometimes stormy,sometimes as blue and calm as a tropical lagoon,other times slate gey,flecked with foam and angry with serried ranks of massive combers marching and crashing into the rocks .

Soon Red and White Campion appeared everywhere almost ovemight and shortly after, the
ancient Lamoma Woods were awash in a sea of Bluebells and the cliffs carpeted gloriously in Sea Pink(Thrift) and yellow-flowering gorse. Later our lovely, mysterious garden, hewn and terraced from the granite cliffside was full of Fuchsia and Foxgloves.

Elaine and I would sit as if in a daze, drinking in the beauty all around

Almost daily we walked along the cliffs to Minack. We would stroll around Oliver Land where the
late daffodils and Pink Campion were flowering, occasionally sitting on the rocks by the pools
where Derek and Jeannie often bathed. We always visited the Ambrose Rock, telling each other
how lucky we were and making our silent wishes for the future..
Evenings, afterthe Scillonian had glided past for the last time we would sit and eat Lamoma
Strawberries,picked that morning, smothered in Cornish clotted cream,while’st watching the sun dip slowly below the valley,listening to the hiss and gurgle of the waves lapping the rocks below.As the stars appeared above us and the Lizard light flashed out it’s signal small fishing boats would chug by,their lights suspended in the growing dark and Pipistrelle bats would appear,flitting wildly around us in search of an evening insect.

Responsibilities meant we had at last return to our home in Canada. A final walk to Minack, a final stroll through the ageless Lamoma woodland where rare orchids were now blooming …it was time, with heavy hearts,
to leave, but we were comforted,knowing we would return soon.

It is now February 2010. I am lucky to have been here in Lamoma Cove since early January
enjoying the isolation and seclusion of a Cornish winter.

From a window I have witnessed a magnificent winter storm with monstrous foam-flecked grey/green waves of terrifying height,crashing over Cam Dhu,thundering into the cove after bursting a hundred feet into the air above the breakwater. Boulders the size of cars banging and
rattling together, tossed around like pebbles on the shore by the massive sea-surge as it charged up the beach,terrifying and unstoppable. Rain and spume flying horizontally across the bay being driven by a howling banshee wind,a shrieking gale adding to the tumultuous cacophony.

It was an awesome,very humbling experience.

Conversely there have been many days of pure serenity, the winter sun twinkling off the calm, Mediterranean-like ocean, when small fishing boats have dotted. the water and grey seals swam in the shallows.

I walk to Minack often, gaze upon the cliffs and land, sit on the Ambrose Rock and think how
fortunate THEY were... and how fortunate am!

Lamoma village is a marvellous village with a great sense of community - rare today. I have been
genuinely welcomed by all. Many nights I have spent by the fire in the Lamoma Wink enjoying
good beer and good company. It is a truly amazing coincidence that Di, the Wink's owner has a
sister-in-law who lives in the same small town in Alberta, Canada as Elaine and I! We have met
her and become firm friends.
Her name is Jeannie!

Hardly 'winter' to me, the weather is mild and nice. My Camellia is flowering gloriously and the
garden is full of birdsong. I have a very friendly resident Robin called Jeannie by Patricia (Patricia,
Monty and I have shared many woodland walks and are good friends). Jeannie the Robin will
happily hop into the cottage if invited.

Evenings are truly magical. Nowadays it is dark by 6pm and on a clear night I stand outside and
gaze wonderingly at the awesome magic of it all - the dark ocean with the moon rising out of the
sea over Cam Dhu, Orion and millions of others glittering overhead while all is illuminated by the
rhythmic pulsing of the far off Lizard Light and serenaded by the undulating sea. Magnificent!

I then walk up the pitch-black lane, up through the shadowy woods, listening, waiting, when
suddenly the dark silence is shattered by the eerie, mystical calling of a Tawny Owl, its
melancholic hooting sending shivers down my spine. The hooting thrills me as I carry on up the
valley,misty and dark and smelling of woodsmoke. A fox barks in te darkness,somewhere across te valley.
If I am very silent I might see the shadowy figure of a badger, abroad from his ancient sett
on a nocturnal trek,tere are many in the valley and woodland. or perhaps hear the distant bark of a fox, or glimpse the silent, ghostly wavering flight of a Bam Owl.
What nights are these!

I am up and out at 6am for another woodland walk in the pre-dawn dark, filled with adventure and ending this time with the uplifting dawn chorus. It's my favourite time - alone in the dark, alone except for the wonderful creatures of the night.

It's a magical, mystical time.

Today the sun is out, the sky and ocean that inimitable azure blue. I might hike into Penzance
along the cliffs, past Cam Dhu, Kemyel Crease and Mousehole, perhaps instead walk the lanes
with their high Cornish hedges to St Buryan to see Patricia or maybe stroll past Lamoma Point and
Cam Mellyn to Cam Barges and on to Minack. There again I might just sit outside, enjoy the birds
and watch the ever-changing seascape. The possibilities are endless here in my Cornish Cottage by
the sea.

Here in Paradise where I live my dream.

Soon it will be time to leave, to return to Canada for a while but The Magazine will remain, the
rocks and sea will remain, and all will be awaiting me on my return when the dream will continue.

One day perhaps it will be forever.

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